Places Where You Will Learn Things This Week:
- Eric Roberts’s living room
- A Shonda Rimes production
- YouTube videos about standing in line
- Disney Channel specials
- Wikipedia stock photos
- Coppola’s vineyard.
Thanks to the lovely scb0212, Casper, and CineGains for contributing in all the right places this week. Send articles throughout the next week to ploughmanplods [at] gmail, post articles from the past week below for discussion, and Have a Happy Friday!
Francis Ford Coppola talks to GQ’s Zach Baron about his plan to self-finance an epic so grand neither person can summarize it:
The best I can do, after literally hours talking about it with him, is this: It’s a love story that is also a philosophical investigation of the nature of man; it’s set in New York, but a New York steeped in echoes of ancient Rome; its scale and ambition are vast enough that Coppola has estimated that it will cost $120 million to make. What he dreams about, he said, is creating something like It’s a Wonderful Life—a movie everyone goes to see, once a year, forever. “On New Year’s, instead of talking about the fact that you’re going to give up carbohydrates, I’d like this one question to be discussed, which is: Is the society we live in the only one available to us? And discuss it.” Somehow, Megalopolis will provoke exactly this discussion, Coppola hopes. Annually.
Uproxx‘s Steven Hyden has a particularly gregarious interview with Eric Roberts on his role on The Righteous Gemstones and his career in general:
Let me be real clear: [Star 80 is] not my film, that is Bob Fosse’s film that I am in, and it’s the best film I was ever in. But I’m not responsible for that movie or my performance, really. He is. He was an incredibly overwhelming driving force, and he was an overused and abused word — he was a genius. Once you work for one of those guys you realize two things: That you’re not one of them, and that they are unusual. They’re just a whole other species. Once you’re with them you don’t ever get over it.
At Lifehacker, Meredith Dietz spotlights niche YouTube video essays to make you interested in things you didn’t know you could get interested in:
Multiple articles and reviews have been dedicated to Defunctland’s video series about, well, waiting in line. I know what you’re thinking—the only thing that sounds more boring than waiting in line is watching a video about waiting in line. But Defunctland’s investigation into the history of Disneyland’s FastPass system has so much more to offer. Class warfare. Human behavior. The perils of capitalism. One commenter under the video captures it well by writing “oddly informative and vaguely terrifying.”
Rachael DeLoache Williams writes in Time about her experience with con artist Anna “Delvey” Sorokin and being portrayed in a Netflix movie about the crime:
This is what I’ve learned: people, like ideas, only have as much power and influence as we give to them. […] It’s easy to be captivated by larger-than-life characters who defy our expectations, especially when we think we have nothing at stake. But I have come to understand that your attention is an investment. Giving someone your attention is the act of being influenced, whether or not you’re aware of it in the moment. And especially in this age of constant stimulation, with endless people and stories competing for your clicks, likes, follows, and time, your attention has value. It has power. It’s worth something—it can even put money in someone’s pocket. Be careful where you spend it, and understand the cost.
Vox‘s Constance Grady reflects back on the culture changes since Vanessa Hudgens’s nude photo scandal in 2007 failed to dismantle her on-screen persona:
Disney Channel’s key demographic was and remains kids between the ages of 6 and 14, so any suggestion of sex was out of the question. So pure is Gabriella’s relationship with Troy that they don’t even kiss onscreen until the end of High School Musical 2. Gabriella wears sensible mid-length skirts and one-piece swimsuits. (Efron, it must be admitted, does take off his shirt in the final movie, in a moment that caused audible yelping from the audience when I saw it in theaters in 2008. As ever, boys get more leeway in these things.)
And finally, Input‘s Annie Rauwerda finds a happy story when she investigates the origins of the photo illustrations of the “too slow variation” for Wikipedia’s article on high fives:
I ask if they’ve ever been recognized by strangers in public, and they laugh and say no. But people they know have seen the photos circulating on meme accounts or Reddit. “Whenever the photos go viral,” Tim says, “we get texts from friends and acquaintances. It’s our five minutes of fame.”